Matthew 7:1-6 – “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 ” Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. 6 ” Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” NASU
I’ve heard many sermons on Judging and many of those sermons were Judgmental and sometimes bordered on Self-Righteousness or were advancing a Christianity that the preacher could not demonstrate. Before you assume that I am challenging this directive of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am not and hope to offer something that might be beneficial in your walk and help you avoid the unnecessary and unwarranted condemnation of both the devil and other Christians.
The directive is quite clear – “Do Not Judge So That You Will Not Be Judged.” However, I have to ask, “Is God going to Judge Us?” Yes, He is. A second question I feel drawn to is, “Are there times when we are to Judge?” Before you argue that this passage totally prevents us from exercising Judgment, “what does the Bible have to say about Judgment?” Also, “Can you think of situations in life where it is imperative that you Judge?” We will get to those but let me suggest that is passage is not simply a blanket command to NEVER JUDGE anyone it is a directive of our LORD against “being judgmental” or “pharisaical.” You may still disagree so let’s proceed.
Allow me to refer you to John 7:24 and the words of our LORD, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” WAIT, I thought we were not to Judge? Simply, that suggests that we are never to judge when in areas we are unqualified to do so. We are not to Judge according to appearance. If we judge based on what we see which will be filtered through the grid of preference or experience we will be in danger of wrong judgment. The Bible is clear that if we condemn someone for things that we are guilty we bring on ourselves condemnation.
We should always refrain from judging matters of opinion, as directed in Romans 14:1-4 and Romans 14:10-13. We can NEVER assume the place of God in Judgment but remember the directive of Scripture to “mark” which means to judge or determine their motives certain people both those that cause division and those that pursue righteousness. In Leviticus 19:15 we are warned, “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. But in righteousness, you shall judge your neighbor.” WHAT? If I am told to NEVER Judge how can I follow those directives? Paul even said that Christians were in error taking each other to court for other believers were to Judge those matters (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). I dare not omit, 2 Thessalonians 3:6 where we are told to withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly. Is that not exercising judgment? In verses 14,15 of that chapter, we are told to not count the one who walks disorderly as an enemy but to admonish him/her. In Romans 16:17-18 we are instructed to make note or mark those that cause division.
Might I also suggest that in the course of human events and human relationships, business, social, political, and spiritual the exercise of discernment is necessary and in that usage, we will Judge? We are never to make unqualified judgments and many matters we must leave in the hands of the Almighty. However, in our interpersonal dealings, we must make judgments. The problem is that we often fail to remember the Law of Harvest and that what we reap we sow. In this directive of our LORD, we are warned against making unqualified and unrighteous judgments of condemnation usually based on personal preference or beliefs, not Scripture matters we have qualified information or knowledge.
Another passage I feel I should insert is found in Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself so that you too will not be tempted.” We are told to bear one another’s burdens. Any judgment must be righteous and have the ultimate motive of restoration.
Rather than accept the idea that you can exercise no judgment and thereby determine associations and activities in life reject that condemnation. On the other hand, resist becoming a self-appointed ‘fruit inspector’ for the LORD, He does not give you that authority nor does He need that help. He knows the hearts whereas we only see the exterior, hear the words, and see the actions. Be one who forgives and seeks to restore but never fears making a righteous judgment for proper associations requires it.
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day He has made!